Posted in Dog, life, Thoughts, Videos

Happy and Grandpa Having Fun My First Attempt at Making a YouTube Short

I was watching a video about increasing Etsy sales, and someone mentioned that they used Youtube shorts to help advertise their items. I had already been mulling the idea of making a short, and decided that now was the time to learn. Since I had absolutely no idea how to make one, I decided to make a few practice videos using some of Happy’s old footage to see how it works.

I found an old video of my father playing with Happy. The video is short, but dear to my heart as at it is one of the last clips of my father sitting up looking energetic and so Happy. Sadly, after he fell and broke two of his ribs his health was never the same. Thankfully we got a few more years with him, but every time that I see a clip like this I long for those hard, but comforting days when I had all my loved ones close. And I cannot help but long for the day when we will all be together again. That feeling has definitely been heightened after a tough week where it seems like everything that can go wrong, is going wrong and many things have happened to create a great uncertainty about the future.

Yet even in all this God has been gracious and granted us comfort. I can watch this video with tears in my heart because I miss my father, yet I can also have great joy as with deep longing I look forward to the happiness of the resurrection morning when Jesus will call my father and so many other loved ones from their resting place. With a great shout He will call his sleeping servants from their dusty beds, transformed into his pure image, never again to come under the dominion of pain, suffering, sickness, or death. Oh how I long for that hour when the dead in Christ shall rise first and then we who are alive shall join them.

Oh how I desire to be part of that rejoicing throng. How I pray that I will let the Lord cut, prune, and weed out every sin from my heart so that I will hear the blessing, “Well done my good and faithful servant” and my heart will leap with joy to know that I have been counted worthy to sing the song of the Lamb, and spend the rest of eternity thanking my Savior for his unbelievable sacrifice so that my sins, the sins of my loved ones, and all who desire could be washed cleaned. So that we could once again walk the streets of gold, eat from the tree of life, and have an endless lifetime to make and enjoy more memories with our loved ones.

I hope that as you watch this short little clip of my father and Happy playing together that you will not only recollect some of your dearest memories, but that the prayer of your heart would be to except God’s great gift and that nothing this world offer would stand between you and becoming a part of that rejoicing throng.

Posted in Bible Puzzles, Faith, Find the Difference, Fun Puzzles, life, Thoughts

Sabbath Afternoon Fun: Find 3 Difference Romans 5:6-8

I hope that you are having a Sabbath afternoon. And that you are enjoying this chance to learn better how to keep your heart rested in the promises of God. I know how hard this lesson is to learn, but before the last great battle we must learn this lesson fully if we hope to stand. Yet learning this much needed lesson is painful.

Currently God is teaching our family this lesson. Between the death of my father and the change in the economy our house became too expensive for our tiny budget to support so we had to sell the house. In the months leading up to our home going up for sell the market was full of good homes at a price we could handle. But within days of our house going on the market most of the homes were gone. But every so often a seemingly good home would appear. But as soon as our house sold and we could finally put in a bid, the competition became so fierce that there were times I found a potential home in the morning and before I could show my mother and sister a few hours later, it was sold.

Over and over we would call about a home to find out it was already pending, or after a few days of discussion and prayer we would decide that it was time to call the realtor to see the home, and it was gone. The first few times we were not worried, but after days turned into weeks, and the time to move drew dangerously near, we began to worry. Finally we decided that we would have to put our house hunting on hold and find a place to rent. But to our dismay we found out that even though we will have the money to rent a home for a year while looking for a new house, because our income is too low, we cannot find a home to rent.

Now we are only days away from having to leave our home, and we still have no place to move too and no idea where we are going to put our belongings or how we will move them since none of us have the health or strength needed to move hundred of boxes or heavy furniture. It is a very unnerving position to be in. One that I would not wish upon another. Living on the street is hard for someone in good health, but for a diabetic dog who requires refrigerated insulin and three sickly women, it is a potential death sentence.

I wish that we could say that we have reached this point without questioning or murmuring. Our trust in God so complete that like Peter we can fall into a sleep so deep that even the glory of an angel in our room cannot wake us. But that would be a commandment breaking stretch. At times our blood pressure has reached dangerous levels, our nerves have gotten so taunt that we had to apologize for our tense and irritated words, and at moments the fear has become so strong that we could not help but with tears wonder if God had abandoned us.

Yet at the same time, after gathering in prayer to ask for God’s strength and help, peace filled our hearts. While we were worried, our trust in God outweighed that fear to the point that smiles replaced tears as our minds were pointed to all the ways that God had helped us in the past. Promises from God’s word were recalled to our minds and as our trembling hands reached out to grasp them, He made us stronger.

At this moment we cannot fully say where God is leading us or why He has chosen to take us down this frightful path, we have no clue if we will have another roof to go to when we leave this home or if the car will become our new home, but we can say that God has been faithful to His word and is holding our hand. Here and there doing little things to prove that He taking care of us and to help strengthen our trust in Him.

It is my hope that for whatever future test God is preparing us for, we will prove faithful. That in some way this test of our faith, of painful muscle building, will not only draw us closer, but will in some way become such a testimony to others that it will help others to find the courage to stand firm and bring others to the Lord.

As you enjoy today’s find the difference verse about God’s love for sinful man, it is my prayer that God will help you to hide this verse in your heart. So when your test of faith comes, you will have the words of love and hope that you will need to help encourage your faith and to be a light to your feet keeping them from falling off the narrow path that leads to light.

Posted in Fun Puzzles, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Word Searches

19 Sales and Learning the Lesson to Leave Well Enough Alone

Ten months into my Etsy journey and I have made 19 hard earned sales. For months at a time it seems like there is an unwritten rule that I can only make 1 sale a month, no matter how many visitors come to my shop. Then, thankfully, there is a month like this one, where I get a slight boost and make 3 sales, and then back to crickets for weeks.

So, after listening to some You Tube videos, I have been trying to work on improving SEO and making a few changes to some of my pictures that I felt could use a better background. I still have a long way to go to make the needed improvements. But one lesson that I quickly learned, thanks in part to some mistakes that I have made in the past on KDP, is that the saying leave well enough alone or if its not broke, don’t fix it, is a very important saying for your Etsy shop.

If a listing is doing well, don’t tamper with it. After making a couple of changes to a listing that was doing fairly well, and experiencing a sudden slow down (you think I would have learned my lesson from KDP), I heard some very valuable advice from an Etsy youtuber. If you want to see if you can improve it, and there is another category that it can go under, make a copy, change the first picture, and make one or two tweaks so you know if the changes you made improved your listing or hurt it. Kind of like an A B testing at the optometrist office where the doctor ask if you see better with A or B or they are both about the same.

For now, since I do not get many sales, if my listing recently had a sale or two, I leave well enough alone and give that listing a chance. That way I do not sabotage a listing that might have taken off, but thanks to my tweaking instead ends up sinking like a lead balloon. Instead, if I want to make changes, I will see if I can add it to another category and make a change or two and hope and pray that at last one of my listing will take off and I can stop spending months wondering who wrote the invisible rule that I can only get 1 sale a month even if if it is only for$2

If by any chance you are looking for some fun word games, then you might enjoy my Fun Word Games Digital Download Activity Pack, Word Search Puzzles, DecoderRing, Word Scrambles, Alphabet Soup, Zigzag Puzzles, Anagrams, pack.

Posted in life, Thoughts, Uncategorized

Another Important Lesson for Trying to Start Your Own Business: One Hundred Percent Effort Does Not Always Equal Success

How many times have we been told that effort is the secret to success. Your grades are slipping all you need to do is study harder. You want a promotion at work just work harder. You need to take off a few pounds, diet better and workout harder. No matter the problem, the answer to all your problems is to give your 110% effort and like magic, all your problems will be solved.

Well this might be true if the reason for your few extra pounds was that extra slice of cake or two that you liked to indulge in after a hard day, and not a hormone problem. If your grades were slipping because you were not completing your homework and forgoing that needed hour of study in favor of hanging out with friends or binge watching your favorite You Tube channel and not because you had an undiagnosed learning disability like dyslexia that made it hard for you to understand what you were reading. As much as we want to believe that effort always means success, there are areas of life where we can work our fingers to the bone, only to fall short of the mark. But what about things that you have absolutely no control over, like how many people buy your books or from your Etsy shop?

We can spend hours creating the perfect shop banner and creating professional looking designs, take pictures that look like they belong in magazine, and have all the right keywords and yet the success we seek may remain a step our two out of our reach. Our little shop might seem like it is about to take off when changes to the algorithm brings our rising graph crashing downward for days and even weeks. Sickness could put such a damper upon our effort that a car without gas being pushed uphill by the father of knew born with colic and a bad case of the flu looks like a blaze of glory compared to our empty tank of energy.

Or after spending months preparing products, creating photos, and trying to brainstorm tags, and mere days after celebrating the opening of our shop, we can wake up to the fearful news that interest rates are rising, stores are closing, banks are failing, and the economy is on the brink of a financial disaster not seen since the great depression. Bringing the traffic in your shop to a slow drip instead of a quiet but steady stream.

Yet for all of that, there is something satisfying knowing that even though your dreams of financial greatness did not come to pass, or have been put on an extra long hold, that you have given it your all. That you have done all in your power to learn, grow, and work towards your dream. Because

So if you have a dream that you believe is worth giving your all, what are you waiting for? Who knows what you can do or where you will go if once you pick up your feet and begin the journey of a thousand miles. There are no guarantees that you will become the millionaire of your dreams, a doctor, a best selling doctor, etc. But one thing is for certain, a hope never pursued will forever remain a dream.

Click here to check out these fun designs about how 100 percent effort does not always equal success.

Posted in Anemia, fun mazes, Fun Puzzles, life, Thoughts

My First 7 Months on Etsy What is the Biggest Lesson that I Have Learned So Far

It has been seven months since I opened my shop on Etsy and I am excited to say that just this week I made my 14th sale! It might not sound like much, but considering the craziness of this year, where there was a time I was afraid that I might lose not only my centurion grandmother but my mother and dog too, my iron repeatedly dropped so low that I had to have 6 iron infusions, and thanks to the financial impact of my father’s death and the rise in cost of living we have had to make the tough choice to put our house for sell, 14 sales is a very big deal.

As I look back at these first seven months on Etsy, I wish that I could say that I had learned the secret to writing a high converting description or made great strives in understanding SEO. It would be nice if at this early mile marker I could lean back and share the secret to creating eye catching product photos and videos. But seven months in and a whole lot of you tube videos and I am just as confused as ever. To a great degree I still feel like I am wearing a blind fold, have been spun around in a chair a hundred times, and am blindly trying to hit a dartboard in a 5000 square foot room. And then wonder why I miss the mark far more than I hit it.

Alas, my major take away from the first 7 months is that if I ever hope to make a success of my Etsy endeavor, is that the very first skill that I am going to have to learn is not SEO, illustration, or photography, but patience and endurance. While learning to create eye catching illustrations and heart catching product descriptions are important, having those skills will mean nothing if I give up five feet into the race.

It would be great if I would wake up tomorrow to find that I had become one of those overnight Etsy success stories. I would love to wake up and find out that my next step attempt at leveling up my shop by adding drop shipping had worked, and that my puzzle and notebook designs were such a hit that I had made a dozen, then a hundred, and by the end of a week a thousand orders. I would love nothing better than to wake up tomorrow and find out that I had sold so many digital packs on Etsy that I could call social security and tell them that I no longer needed SSI.

But sadly, that is just a dream. The overnight wonder is the exception, not the rule. And even though I work as hard as my chronically ill body will allow, giving my body’s version of 100 percent, the likely hood that I will be able to close my eyes and wake up to discover that overnight my dreams had come true is sadly nothing more than a pleasant dream. Worse yet, even though I push myself to the point of breaking, because of my body’s weakened state, 100 percent for me probably is the equivalent of a healthy persons 40 percent.

Whether I like it or not, if I want to be successful I am going to have become far more patient and persevering. The road between me and a life altering successful Etsy shop is going to be a long one. Much longer than it is for the healthy and more financially mobile. At every turn I am going to have to contend with the battle to learn how to stand out on Etsy, but how to deal with the barrage of obstacles created by episodes of eye closing migraines, overwhelming exhaustion from low iron, and days of being so pain ridden that even copying and pasting a few lines feels like a marathon of torture.

If I want to win this race, and I do, I am not only going to have to endure the frustration of views and clicks that bring nothing, where a whole month passes with only one $2 sale to reward my hard work, but the agony of wanting to move ahead and build up my shop inventory, but having to wait for a whole week or two to pass until I can get a much needed iron infusion so I can have the energy to do more than stare blankly at my screen.

On days where it feels like all hope is lost, where it seems like all the forces of misery are against me, and nothing I do ever works, I will have to find a way to muster up the courage to count the few steps towards my goal that I have made, and gather the courage to focus on my dream and trust that in the long run if I patiently persevere, the morning will come when I will realize that my long night of dreaming is over, as thankfully, my years of working and dreaming have become a reality.

If you are looking for some fun brain games, check out my Etsy shop where you will find a growing list of fun brain games and ctivities like this mind stimulating collection of word games and mazes.

And now you will also find cute puzzles and journals like this adorable schnauzer themed Happy Day Dream puzzle that comes in multiple sizes as well as a matching Happy Day Dream journal.

Posted in Faith, Religion, Thoughts

Why I Do Not Celebrate Christmas: A Short Answer

I was watching a video today talking about someone changed their mind about Christmas being pagan because they no longer felt that there was evidence to support the belief that Saturnalia was connected to Christmas. Not only that, but even if Christmas did have pagan roots, it no longer mattered because Christmas was now a Christian holiday.

I must admit it that this argument got me a bit upset. I mean if all one has to do to celebrate a day is call it Christian and that makes it right, well where does it stop? Can we slap the name Christian on alcohol and call it being drunk in the spirit? Can we put wings on half naked men and women, call them angels, and wipe away the crime of lust of which Christ said was equivalent to adultery in God’s eyes? I mean where does it end?

I was so worked up that I spent a large portion of the day writing a response. I thought I would share it with you so that you could have a small an idea of why my family and I have decided to give up Christmas.

I beg your pardon, but what do you mean that even if Christmas is pagan, we can keep it because it is now a Christian holy day? Are you saying that all we have to do is make something Christian and we can now enjoy it? Does that mean that all we have to do is wear Bible costumes, carve out bible scenes in pumpkins, trunk or treat in a church parking lot, and give a speech about Martin Luther nailing the 99 theses to the door and declare that Halloween has been transformed into a Christian holiday celebrating the reformation? Can we put angels on a deck of tarot cards and make a prayer to Jesus and thus say we have Christianized divination? Can we take the lunar festival with its moon cakes and lanterns lit for the dead slap on a few Christian titles and say no worries its Christian now? Because if we can transform Christmas from a pagan into a Christian holiday simply by giving a few Christian definitions and names to pagan customs and observances, then like a certain church, we can slap some Christian names like Peter, Paul, and Mary onto some images of pagan gods and bring them into our homes and churches because they have been safely baptized into Christian icons.

And where in the Bible do we find even find an example of transforming pagan ceremonies into Christian ceremonies? Wait a moment, I know, it was at the foot of mount Sinai right after God gave the ten commandments when the people grew tired of waiting for Moses and made a golden calf to represent not a pagan, but the true God. And was God pleased by the Hebrews slapping on Christian titles on pagan costumes or did God declare that they had corrupted themselves, called them a stiff-necked people and threatened to consume them?  And were not 2 of the sons of Aron killed because they offered holy fire in an unholy vessel?

Where in the Bible do you find that we have a right to take a pagan holy day and put a Christian label on it so that we can in essence, worship on that day? I read where the Lord says to “not learn the way of the Gentiles” Jeremiah 10:12. Over and over I read where they were supposed to destroy the accursed thing not transform the accursed thing.

As to the debate about Jesus being born on Christmas day, am I wrong or do we not teach that Christ ministry on earth was 3 ½ years not 3 and 1/3 years. Thus, if Christ died during the Passover, which is in spring, and if my math is correct, he could not possibly have been born in December so why are you giving any credence to that idea that he was born in December?  It seems to me that the idea that Jesus was born on September 11 makes far more Biblical sense (and no I am not setting a date for His birth) than December 25th.

Respectfully, as someone who once loved and celebrated Christmas fully believing that it had Christian roots, it also seems to me that you totally ignored the fact that even if Christmas did not come from Saturnalia, almost all of the supposedly Christianized traditions of the season not only once were but still are clearly pagan. Take for example the yule cakes, yule logs, and yuletide carols sung by a choir. Some places still build the traditional yule goat in honor of pagan gods. This twelve-day festival (is it the reason for the 12 days of Christmas), also known today as Christmastide, was and is a pagan festival that involved drinking, divination, and sacrifice to pagan gods. So why are we singing about and decorating our home with these items?

What is the least bit Biblical about the holly, ivy or kissing anyone you meet under the mistletoe? According to an article by the pagan pen titled THE HOLLY AND THE IVY, “significance of mistletoe, holly and ivy are of druid origin” after all, is not the holly tied to the pagan holly king who is honored at the winter solstice? According to the site learning the tradition of wassailing has its roots in pre-Christian fertility rites, metal ornaments were hung by the romans on outside trees during the feast of Satunalia, and early Germanic tribes decorated trees with fruit and candles in honor of Odin for the winter solstice. Should it not alarm Christians that they are partaking of traditions that honor the stag god, who links back the gods of the Old Testament to whom human sacrifices were offered and God told us to have nothing to do with?

 Never mind magical elves, flying reindeer, and talking snow man, and the pagan god Satan Clause aka Christ Kringle or Christ child who knows all, rewards the good, wears a Mithra cap, and more? Not to mentions Santa’s terrifying companion Krampus, a demon like creature who is still celebrated today.

When my family made the decision to stop celebrating Christmas ten years ago, there were multiple factors that helped us to make the decision to throw out and destroy all of our Christmas stuff. One thing is as God lead us to study out the origin of Christmas, we began to ask, if Christmas really was a true Christian holiday, why does the world spend thousands of their hard-earned dollars to decorate their homes and celebrate the birth of Jesus when they want nothing to do with Him the rest of the year?  If Christmas had really become a true Christian holy day, why would Hollywood, that takes such delight in mocking God and his followers, spend billions of dollars creating movies that portray His day in a positive light? All year long their hatred for Him is visible. They use His name as a curse wood, the mock His life and death, declare His followers to be brain-dead bigots, yet suddenly, when December rolls around they get filled with the Spirit and sing His praises? The more we thought about it, the more we realized that the idea that Jesus is the reason for the season did not make much sense, but instead that the stag god dressed in scarlet, whose roots go back to the tower of Babel, is the true god of the season makes far more sense.

At first, we were tempted to believe that the pagan roots of Christmas were all past. That this was the way Christmas was, but now there is a newer, purer version of Christmas. Then we saw our first videos of Krampus and realized that the demonic side of Christmas is alive and celebrated today.

After that we took some time to watch several videos made by pagans and witches talking about how Christmas belongs to them and how we are stealing their holy day. Traditions such as ringing of the bells (to drive away demons, decorating with elfin symbols, decorating with wreathes, and putting lights in the window.  These were their traditions meant to honor their gods, to invite or scare away spirits, and had nothing to do with Christianity. If we are not supposed to learn the ways of the heathen, why are we filling our homes with items meant to honor heathen gods? How can we learn nothing from the heathen while doing exactly as the heathen do?

Christmas may be a great time for witnessing to others and doing good deeds, but just because it is a great time to do good and witness that we are to welcome this pagan filled celebration into our home?  If we cannot sanctify divination by putting angels on tarot cards and saying a prayer asking God to help these cards tell our future, why do we believe that we can take a holy day honoring the devil and with a few name changes transform it into a day honoring God.

If this quote is correct found on article entitled The Sabbath. Catholic and Protestant Stunning Admissions, written by Olusegun Olutoto on August 19, 2019  it should put the celebration of Christmas in a different light, because if the Catholic church is to be believed when it comes to the fact that worshiping on Sunday is an acceptance of their authority, it seems to me that we should sit up and take note when they say that the keeping of Christmas and Easter is also an acceptance of their authority

Our Sunday Visitor (February 5, 1950):

Practically everything Protestants regard as essential or important they have received from the Catholic Church… The Protestant mind does not seem to realize that in accepting the Bible and observing the Sunday, in keeping Christmas and Easter, they are accepting the authority of the spokesman for the Church, the Pope.

This is why many of feel that we cannot in good conscience celebrate Christmas. We have nothing against using this day to do good for others, but how, when we are called to come out of her my people, can we celebrate a Sabbath day or holy day that is by right a sign of her authority.

The Sabbath. Catholic and Protestant Stunning Admissions

Posted in Acrostic Poetry, Poems Beginning with T, Poetry, Thoughts

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy thanksgiving everyone. Even though my energy is low, I thought that I would take a moment to share a shore a poem of thanks and to wish everyone a happy day of giving thanks for all that God has done for us. May you and your family enjoy a good meal and a full heart as you count your blessing and find joy in the fullness of your basket of blessings.

Posted in Bible Puzzles, Faith, Find the Difference, Fun Puzzles, Religion, Thoughts

Sabbath Afternoon Fun: Find 3 Difference Psalm 139:13-14

Happy Sabbath. Isn’t it a blessing to know that we are fearfully and wonderfully made, to know why we are here, where we came from, and where we are going! What a sense of hope and purpose should thrill our hearts to know that God Himself formed us out of the dust, that He bent low in the garden of Eden to personally give us the breath of life.How blessed are we to realize that our God is mighty enough to hang the moon and the stars in the the heavens, yet He loves us so much that He knows the number of hairs upon our head.

That is one of the great blessings of the Sabbath day. It reminds us that our Creator did not wind up a toy and then turn and walk away. He did not make earth and leave it to sink or swim on our own. But from the very beginning, right after saying that what He had created was very good, He created a day of rest for His creation where they could draw near to Him. Before sin entered the picture, while all was perfect and pure, He has set aside a time for us to walk and talk with Him as we would our best friend.

If we had need of the Sabbath in the perfect garden, how much more need do we, laden down with the mighty burdens of sin, racked by infirmity, feeble and worn, need the faith building communion of this day.

Now, as we draw close to the river Jordan, as we near the temporary spot of rest where so many of the Israel of old were beguiled by food, song, and dance and joined themselves to Baalpeor, we must learn to cling to the side of our Savior. Instead of trusting in our power, reassuring ourselves like Peter before his conversion that even though all should be offended we will stand firm, we should be making our anchor sure. Now, while there is still time to accept the offer of mercy. Now, while there is still time to call our friends, our neighbors, and even our enemies to the great wedding feast, we must give the Lord every corner of our heart. We must give Him permission to do His work of soul cleansing and transformation. So in that longed for hour of solemn rejoicing, when the trumpet shall sound and the righteous revive their eternal reward, we will be found standing on the right hand of God and we will be allowed to walk the streets of gold and join the holy angels in songs of praise to our merciful Lord and Savior.

Posted in Faith, Find the Difference, Fun Puzzles, Religion, Thoughts

Sabbath Afternoon Fun: 3 Find the Difference Galatians 5:22-23

Happy Sabbath everyone. I am so glad that God has granted us a day each week to spend drawing closer to Him. This world is so hectic, and as we draw closer to the final battle it is amazing how many trials and tribulations the devil is sending our ways in hopes of keeping us too busy to look up and behold how little daylight is left.

As we near the finish line, the roar of the lion is definitely growing more fierce as he seeks with all his might to take our eyes off the prize of salvation and refocus them on the fleeting things of this world. As the signs point out that the miles between us and Heaven are fast disappearing, like the great deceiver that he is, he is busily seeking to point our eyes towards his empty hand, promising us that hidden within his palms are jewels of far greater value than eternal life and a heart washed clean from the stain of sin.

Knowing that he has but a few hours left to deceive and tempt, he is doubling his efforts and stirring up as much trouble and tribulation as he can so that our hearts might be overrun with care and the fight to earn enough to fill our bellies and secure a roof over our heads that we might be tempted to doubt the promises of God. That we might become too busy to spend time upon our knees and in the word of God filling our lamps so that we might safely make our way past his many minefields and man devouring tar pits.

As I listen to the news and hear of the many warnings of disease, famine, and war, I cannot help but think of the warnings of Christ that before he comes there will be wars and rumors of war, pestilence, and other fearful wonders that are now coming to pass. I cannot help but think of the story of the wise and foolish virgins, and with trembling heart I plead with the Lord that He will keep the oil in my lamp full and overflowing, lest in the last moment of earth’s history my light should go out. And on the very shore of victory, I should be found wanting and lose that which is worth more than all of earth’s riches.

It is my prayer that this humble Bible game will help you in your effort to hide the word of God in your heart, so that your lamp will burn ever brighter, and that you will be ready to meet the Lord when He comes.

Posted in Faith, life, Medical, Thoughts

Tears are a Language God Understands 

Today, as the tears of heartache and worry for Happy who was so sick that he stopped eating, drinking, and walking for over 12 hours. We have already lost at least 9 family members, including my father and grandmother, in less than 3 years. This year my mother has been in and out of the hospital multiple times with uncontrolled blood pressure that was climbing over 200. Last month both of her sibling gave us a scare after ending up in the hospital within a couple of weeks of each other. And once more, before we had a chance to recuperate from one loss, we were facing the very real possibility of losing our little Happy pup. With a sea of tears we have been presenting our petition to God day and night that He might, if it would not cause Happy greater harm, raise him up, and give us more time with him.

Over and over we lifted our hearts up to God as we poured out the unspoken sorrow of our heart to His patient ear. Even though we trust Him, it has been a struggle to place Happy fully in God’s hands. When we looked at the heartbreak of the past couple of years, coming so close that one scar could not heal before another wound pierced our heart, it was so easy to hold back and say Lord, you must heal Happy. To point to our many losses, our financial insecurity, and say Lord, how can you let us endure another blow. If you love us, You have to heal Happy.

But would that really be putting things in God’s hands? No, sadly that would be saying God, even though You know what is best, You can do what you know is best as long as it what we think is best. For a moment this might work out. For a moment it might save us from the sea of tears caused by the ache that was tearing our heart to pieces. But in the long run, when the danger or sorrow that the Lord was trying to save us finally came our way, the little ache of today, would be a thousand fold worse.

Hard as it was, we had to remind ourselves that God, tender father that He is, longs to keep us from heartache. And that before He allows any sorrow to come our way, He weighs it out to determine what we can handle, and what is for our best and the best of those around us. That unlike us, He sees the beginning from the end, and sometimes He like he did with King Hezekiah, He makes painful choices. How much better would things have been for Hezekiah, who at the time was a hero of faith, if like King David, he had bowed his head in acceptance of God’s word.

Oh how hard it must have been for Him to hear the sad proclamation that he was going to die from his ailment, especially knowing that he was without an heir. But at that moment he would have died with an untarnished record of faith. His record would have been one of trust and faith in His Lord in a time of great trial and tribulation.

But instead of trusting that the God who knows the beginning from the end, might be trying to save him from some unseen danger, pointed to his record as reason to why God should answer my prayer. King Hezekiah got his way. He got 15 more years of life, but at what cost? God knew that King Hezekiah was in danger of losing his faith. Flushed with his great victory of faith, King Hezekiah probably felt invincible. At that moment he might honestly have believed that nothing could get between him and God. And he might have imagined all the things He could and would do should God raise Him.

But while he did not see his danger, God did. And preferring to have a sleeping saint rather than a live sinner, God had made the hard choice to say no to healing him from his disease. It must have been with a heavy heart that God answered Hezekiah’s petition to look at his record and raise him up. He knew that when the cutting test of pride came his way, Hezekiah would fail.

Sadly, when the Babylonian representatives came to find out more about the miracle of the sundial moving backwards 10 degrees, Hezekiah forgot all about God. Instead of pointing them to the Great Healer, and telling them about the mighty maker of heaven and earth who not only had the power to hold the sun in place for a whole day or move it backwards 10 degrees, but also had the power to change men’s hearts, he showed them his great wealth.

Hezekiah had been given one of the greatest witnessing opportunities ever given to man. What other king, including King Solomon, had such a prestigious delegation from a budding super power knocking at their door practically begging to hear a sermon? Truly this was one of those moments when we could set back and wonder how different this world’s history might have been if King Hezekiah had proven true instead of giving way to pride and without one word of thanks or gratitude to God, squandered a golden opportunity to witness to the leader of the kingdom who would a few years latter be represented by the head of gold!

How different might the history of our world been if instead of showing off his wealth, King Hezekiah had spoken of the greatness of the God who raised him from his death bed and as a token of his word moved back the sundial by 10 degrees as easily as one leads a puppy. Never before or after was there such a moment to touch hearts as when that delegation, awed by the great miracle, were actively seeking to learn about a God so powerful that he could alter the course of time. At that moment their hearts were open to hearing and being impressed by the words of life. If Hezekiah had remained grateful, and spoken words of praise and gratitude to God, who knows how many members of that prestigious delegation might have given their heart to God. What a mighty witness for truth Hezekiah could have been. Only when the books of Heaven are opened, and God pulls back the curtain of history to reveal what might have been if that delegation had been able to bring back words of life to their king instead of visions of silver and gold, will we find out how the history of Israel and Babylon might have been forever altered. Instead of becoming an enemy of God and his people from which the call must be made Babylon is fallen, is fallen, come out of her my people, Babylon might have become a bastion of truth.

While this is a more sever example of the dangers of demanding God give way to our wants and desires, there is always great danger in seeking to pull things out of God’s hands and trying to force Him to do our will. Like Job in his suffering, he had no way of knowing that his misery was due to the cruel desire of the devil to bring him to his knees and tear him from the side of God. Right now the curtain between our world and the Heavenly realm is closed to us, and we cannot see how the hard the devil like a thief is seeking to pass the wall of protection that God has raised up so that he might steal us from God’s side. As overwhelming as today’s tears might seem, we have no way of knowing what greater pain and suffering the devil is longing to bring upon us if given the opportunity.

It is not easy to accept the tears of today. When faces with the painful, but purifying fire of tribulation, it is very easy to do as King Hezekiah and say Lord I want you to do things my way. It is so easy to lose sight of the fact that in this moment of pain, we are not the only ones shedding tears. But that as tender and loving father, the arms of God are wrapped around us, holding us up, even carrying us through the trial. And that His tears are mingled with our own.